Middle English (ME) was the dominant and traditional spoken language form in many parts of England during the Middle Ages. Though most language historians suggest that prior to about 1000 CE, the primary language in England was Anglo-Saxon, the Norman invasion of England had significant effect on Anglo-Saxon. It gradually morphed the language into Middle English, a form almost recognizable, at least in text, as far more relative to modern spoken and written English.History can have an intense effect on language. For England, the Norman invasion changed English forever. In the courts and in much of the writing of the time, French was definitely preferable, accounting for the numerous French-based words (over 10,000) that are now the common every day words of today’s English. Most documents dated after 1000 were written in either French or Latin, and Middle English drew from both, while still retaining some of its Anglo-Saxon roots. This in part accounts for the significant “exceptions” in English grammar, spelling, structure and pronunciation that can make English such a challenging language to learn, especially for those acquiring it as a second language. The term Middle English literature refers to the literature written in the form of the English language known as-middle English, from the 12th century until the 1470s, when the Chancery Standard a form of London-based English, became widespread and the printing process regularized the language. Between the 1470s and the middle of the following century there is a transition to early modern English though in literary terms the characteristics of the literary works written does not change radically until the effects of the categories of Middle English Literature: Religious,country love , and Arthurian, though much of Geoffrey Chaucer's work stands outside these. Among the many religious works are those in the Katherine grop and the writings of Julian of Norwich and Ricard rolle.
There had been a great change between the time of Beowulf and the time of The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s language is on the whole understandable to a modern reader. The differences between Old English and the English of Chaucer’s time were a result of changes in both the grammatical system and the vocabulary of the language. The most noticeable change in the grammatical system was the disappearance of most grammatical endings on words. And the Conquest of the Normans brought the French language into England, which contributed to the vocabulary of the English language. (Churchmen and scholars continued to borrow words from Latin at that time too.)One extremely significant development that took place in Middle English was the gradual adoption of a standard written language. Before that period, there was no such thing as “Standard English”. The other change is in pronunciation; the long vowel sounds in what is called the Great Vowel Shift.